The first stage in the project lifecycle is the refinement of ideas, as a means of defining a project and articulating it clearly in a proposal.
Here are some questions to think about as you start to refine your ideas:
- What do I want to be known for as a researcher / creative practitioner?
- What questions do I want to answer?
- Why are these questions significant? Innovative? Fundable?
- What further skills / knowledge do I need to acquire? Would building a team be productive?
- How much will it cost? Develop a budget?
- Who can give me advice and critical feedback?
Some key attributes to grow in during the refinement process:
- Knowledge: learn everything you can about your field, and identify a significant gap or need
- Creativity: develop a novel idea to address this need
- Openness: obtain feedback from other subject matter experts
- Adaptability: revise/refine the problem and/or solution to maximize impact on the discipline/field
- A sponsor will only fund ideas that fulfill its mission.
- Your original concept may need to be modified to meet the criteria of each grant program.
- Your primary research trajectory could be broken down into a series of smaller sub-projects that could be funded by a variety of different sponsors.
The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) website contains additional information.